Doug Thompson


Judge: ‘AGs, butt out’

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Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen.
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A federal judge in Richmond Monday told a group of former Virginia attorney generals to butt out of the case against scandal-ridden ex-governor Bob McDonnell.

U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer said a motion that five former AGs wanted to file in the upcoming corruption trial against McDonnell and his former pro football cheerleader wife was out of order and had no place in the proceedings.

Earlier, Spencer denied a motion from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to file a similar brief in the case where the McDonnells are accused of selling the power of the governor’s office to former dietary supplement executive Jonnie Williams after he provided cash and expensive gifts to the debt-ridden couple.

“The court declines to exercise its discretion to allow amicus curiae briefs to be filed in this criminal matter,” Spencer said.  “Accordingly the motion is denied.”

The five former Virginia AGs included Democrats Andrew P. Miller, Mary Sue Terry and Stephen D. Rosenthal along with Republicans J. Marshall Coleman and Mark L. Earley.  The motions from the AGs and the Trial Lawyers Association claimed the feds were acting beyond their authority by insisting that a governor and his wife perform simple tasks like putting the needs of the state ahead of their own personal gain.

The AGs claimed the legal action against the McDonnells “is completely alien to any legal advise that any of us would have given to any governor of Virginia.”

McDonnell, who is also a former AG of Virginia, apparently feel the same.

Which is why he and his wife may be headed to federal prison if convicted of the charges.

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